Saturday 23 September 2017

Gold worth €104,000 switched for copper, court told

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A GOLD expert who verbally agreed to pay €104,000 for 2.9kg of fine gold claimed it was later switched for worthless gold-plated copper.

Yesterday, the High Court granted orders restraining a company from reducing its assets after the claims were made by a jewellry company.

Ms Justice Mary Laffoy made an order restraining Peter Osa-Amadasun and Nike Lorna Osa-Amadasun, trading as P E Eamons Business Services, North King Street, Dublin, from reducing its money held here from below €104,000.

Sharna Ragonesi, a director of Stirling Jewellers with registered offices in the UK, said in an affidavit that on September 27, 2011, her firm entered into a verbal contract with the Osa-Asadusuns at Allendale Drive, Clonsilla, Dublin 15, to buy 2.9kg of fine gold for €104,000.

The UK firm had not previously done business with the Osa-Amadasuns but were introduced through a third party -- Thokatura Pattabhiram (Ram) -- who it had a long-standing business relationship with. Ram runs a cash-for-gold shop on Moore Street, Dublin 8.

Tested

The gold being offered for sale was tested by Ram and was verified as being "fine gold".

Ms Ragonesi said that she met with the Osa-Amadasuns, Ram, and another person -- only known as John -- on September 27 last.

They met at Ms Ragonesi's premises in Bolton Street in Dublin, which is a wholesale precious metal dealership known as The Bullion Room.

Ms Ragonesi said she asked the Osa-sadasuns to let the gold be put in a safe in her shop pending clearance of the funds.

She kept one key and gave the other to Ram and later verified a small sample of the material was gold.

However, she believed that when Ram accompanied the Osa-Amadasuns and 'John' outside the premises they demanded the key from him and he was made to hand it over.

When the Osa-Amadasuns did not turn up to meet them as agreed the next day, she tried to cancel the transfer but her bank told her it was too late and the money had left her account.

The safe was then accessed and the materials turned out not to be gold.

She believed the gold had been switched for another material -- gold-plated copper which was virtually worthless.

She later contacted gardai.

The case is due back before the courts this week.

Irish Independent

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